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The Worship Collection

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jun
The Worship Collection
Sounds like … modern worship touching on Jeff Deyo's time with Sonicflood, as well as more recent material resembling Charlie Hall, By the Tree, Joel Engle, and Detour 180.At a glance … Deyo's solo work just doesn't live up to the glory days of Sonicflood or better worship artists out there, but this is still a good compilation of the highlights he's had a hand in writing over the last eight years.Track Listing Let It Flow
Bless the Lord
Holy One
As I Lift You Up
Lose Myself
Keep My Heart
You Are Good
My Refuge
I Fear You
These Hands
All I Want
Carried Away (live)
Jesus, I Surrender (live)
Your Name Is Holy, Holy (live)
Nothing Less Than All of Me

Hmm, in May 2007, Jeff Deyo released Unveil, his first album with Indelible Creative Group. A month later, his former label Gotee releases this best-of collection. Coincidence? It screams contract fulfillment and cross promotion.

Be that as it may, The Worship Collection is not the hastily thrown together afterthought you'd expect, with fifteen tracks and glossier than usual packaging for a best-of album. And before you begin to wonder how many more times Gotee plans to return to the well and recycle Sonicflood's first two releases, it's actually warranted here.

Avoiding cover songs altogether, the focus is on Deyo the songwriter and the originals he's contributed to modern worship music over the last eight years, first through Sonicflood and then as a solo artist. Granted, we're talking about a compilation that draws from just three studio albums while dutifully acknowledging two live recordings (i.e. the same songs in concert). But The Worship Collection effectively bridges together Deyo's career thus far.

However, it also forces you to reconsider Deyo's scope of influence. Though he and Sonicflood did pioneer the rocking modern worship sound in America, few of the songs presented here are well-known church standards on par with Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Delirious. Of the originals from his solo albums Saturate and Light, the only successful radio singles are "Let It Flow" and "As I Lift You Up." Beautiful acoustic ballad "You Are Good" stands out as the closest thing to a timeless corporate-friendly anthem. The rest are mostly variations on the generic "I [insert worshipful verb] You" style of songwriting.

Two previously unreleased versions of previously released songs are not enough reason for fans to pick this up, but The Worship Collection makes an okay summary for the uninitiated, even if the solo tracks pale in comparison to the more dynamic and interesting Sonicflood classics "Carried Away," "Holy One," and "My Refuge." It suggests that Deyo is best when matched with the right songwriting partners, and that his strength in worship music is more song interpretation than it is songwriting.

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